Predictions for American Idol Top 12

February 29, 2008

We have just one week left before American Idol announces its Top 12.  Here is my prediction for the Top 12:

1.  Asia’h  Epperson

2.  Syesha Mercado

3.  Kristy Lee Cook

4.  Brooke White

5.  Carly Smithson

6.  Ramiele Malubay

7.  Michael Johns

8.  David Cook

9.  David Hernandez

10.  David Archuleta

11.  Chikeze

12.  Luke Menard

I’m pretty sure of my picks for the girls although I’d really like to see Amanda Overmyer stay.  Unfortunately, I don’t think her rocker sound appeals to the general population.  If she does stay, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I’m less confident about my picks for the men.  I have no doubts about Michael Johns and the three Davids, but I think the last two slots are open for grabs still.

Who do you think will make it to the final 12?

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Here’s a recap of the semifinals:

Top 20 Results Show

Top 10 Women Peform

Top 10 Men Perform

Top 24 Results Show

Top 12 Men Perform

Top 12 Women Perform

A Closer Look at Top 12 Men

A Closer Look at Top 12 Women

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Down to 16 – American Idol Results Show

February 29, 2008

Then they were 16.  American Idol whittles its numbers down when it sends four more home in the second results show of the semifinals after 31 million votes.

Jason YeagerRyan’s delivery of the first elimination from the Top 20 is more suspenseful than last week and a bit kinder than the “can I talk to you, oh yeah you are out of here” speech that he gave Garrett Haley right off the bat.

Up first on the chopping block – Jason Yeager.  This decision is no surprise as Jason has not been able to find a song that, as Simon says, makes him stand out.  Jason was the only one of my picks to hit the road tonight.

Alex LushingtonNext up – Alexandrea Lushington.  I like Alex, she has potential.  But her performance Wednesday night was so forgettable I can’t even remember what she did.  I’m not surprised that she is going home.  I will give the girl credit.  For only being 17, she was incredible composed when she heard the news and sang her swan song.

Alaina WhitakerAlaina Whitaker didn’t take the news that America wasn’t “hopelessly devoted” to her as well.  With a little moral support from the rest of the girls, she finally did sing and didn’t sound so bad considering how much she was crying.  Anyone else think her family looked like they were going to eat Ryan alive?

Robbie CarricoAnd last to depart was Robbie Carrico – the would-be rocker that Simon says isn’t authentic.  I was actually surprised by this selection.  I didn’t think Robbie would make the Top 12, but I thought he’d be around for another week.  I wonder if America doesn’t like his rocker sound or if they just agree with Simon that he’s not the real thing.

Ryan also left us with a few Idol announcements.  March 11 will be the first time the Top 12 performs.  They will be treated to a new stage, background, graphics and exit song.  And the theme will be the recently released Lennon/McCartney songs.  April 9 is the next Idol Gives Back night and slated for participation is Brad Pitt, Miley Cyrus, Reese Witherspoon, Mariah Carey, Snoop Dog, Chris Daughtry and Carrie Underwood.

What do you think?  Did the right four get sent home?

Here are my predictions for the Top 12.

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Here’s a recap of the semifinals:

Top 10 Women Peform

Top 10 Men Perform

Top 24 Results Show

Top 12 Men Perform

Top 12 Women Perform

A Closer Look at Top 12 Men

A Closer Look at Top 12 Women


Kristy Lee Shows Some Attitude on American Idol’s ‘70s Week

February 28, 2008

Last week the women on American Idol suffered from illness, but for ‘70s week they were plagued with bad song choices.

It’s Week 2 of the semifinals and the Top 10 women seemed a little star struck.  Several of them picked songs because they loved the song or the band instead of finding the perfect match for them.  Others just couldn’t find the right fit to make them stand out.

I almost feel like I could sum up all the performances with the same phrase – nice, but forgettable.  And in one word, I’d summarize ‘70s night for the women as boring.  Even their “little known facts” were dull.

Top Picks and Most Improved

Kristy Lee CookSince all the ladies seemed to struggle a little this week, I had trouble pulling out my pick of the litter. 

Topping my list has to be self-professed tomboy Kristy Lee Cook mostly because her rendition of Linda Ronstadt’s hit was such a huge improvement over last week. 

This week’s Kristy Lee looked relaxed.  She performed “You’re No Good” with attitude.  But like Simon, I was surprised she hasn’t gone with a more country flavor.

Likewise, I liked Carly Smithson’s “Crazy on You” better than her performance from last week; maybe it was because she loves Heart and is passionate about the song.  However, there’s something about her voice that I just don’t care for.  She’s going to have to do something really outstanding to win me over.

Almost Diva Like

Former cheerleader Asia’h Epperson tried to fill big shoes tonight when she took on “All By Myself.”  The song was first sung in 1975 by Eric Carmen, but has been made famous most recently by diva Celine Dion.  If I could rate Asia’h on just the last part of the song, she’d have topped my list this week, but she had some problems with the middle of the song.

Bonus points in the diva category go to Asia’h for totally changing her appearance tonight.  I almost didn’t recognize her.

Best Song Match

For weeks, I’ve been trying to decide who Brooke White reminds me of.  Tonight, her song choice and her decision to perform it with a guitar made her similarity to Carly Simon clear to me.  Unfortunately for me, I can’t stand the song “You’re So Vain.”

I thought Brooke nailed the beginning of the song, but I think she lost her control during the chorus.

Nice, But Nothing Special

It didn’t help Syesha Mercado’s case tonight that I’ve never heard Billy Paul’s “Me and Mr(s). Jones.”  This girl can really belt it out, but the song itself was a snoozer.

Similarly, Ramiele Maubay’s “Don’t Leave Me this Way” was a nice performance, but it wasn’t anything that I’ll remember tomorrow.  Maybe she should have added some of her Polynesian dance moves to it?

Way Too Old For Her Age

This week 17-year-old Alaina Whitaker could not channel Olivia Newton-John when she needed it.  Alaina came across years older when you she sang “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” a song Olivia made memorable as the sweet young teeny bopper Sandy in Grease.

Worst Dressed

I know Idol isn’t a fashion show, but the thing I remember most about Alexandrea Lushington’s performance of “If You Leave Me Now” is that I couldn’t believe she was wearing shorts.  I agree with Randy that the song was a safe, boring choice.  Besides, Alex had a great deal more style and charisma last week.

Not Feeling the ‘70s Love

It pains me to name bookworm Amanda Overmyer in the bottom of the pack.  I really like Amanda’s sound – and not just because she’s a fellow Hoosier – but tonight “Carry on My Wayward Son” was her weakest performance by far.

I expected more from Amanda on ‘70s night, as she said she was raised on this music.  But Simon nailed it when he said that her performance “felt contrived.”  Amanda needs to stick to her strength and her comfort zone and keep the hair and makeup people on a tight leash.

And finally, I didn’t feel any magic when Kady Malloy performed “Magic Man,” a Heart song she loves.  I’m trying to understand why.  But the Kady we fell in love with during the early phases just hasn’t found her groove in the semifinals.

By the way, how has Simon never heard “Magic Man?”

Overall, I think the women were more consistent than the men, but I think the men had better standout performances this week.

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Here’s a recap of the semifinals:

Top 10 Men Perform

Top 24 Results Show

Top 12 Men Perform

Top 12 Women Perform

A Closer Look at Top 12 Men

A Closer Look at Top 12 Women


What Would You Do to Save Your Favorite Show?

February 28, 2008

Last year fans of Jericho set a precedent – the ability of fans to unite to save their favorite television series.  Since them Save Our Show campaigns have shown up everywhere.

Fans of Las Vegas are organizing Operation Baby Booty just to get NBC to recognize the need for a proper ending to the cliffhanger fans were left with when the show was abruptly cancelled at the end of the writer’s strike.

Friday Night Lights fans have launched a preemptive strike asking fellow viewers to send light bulbs to NBC to prevent cancellation.

Caveman enthusiasts even went so far as to ask supporters to send their own hair to ABC in an effort to keep the sitcom on the air.

As fans everywhere are racking their brains to come up with the wackiest campaign to save their favorite shows, I have to ask – what would you be willing to do to save your favorite show?  And which shows would you be willing to go the extra mile?


Hernandez Rocks on American Idol’s ’70s Night

February 27, 2008

Halfway through the performances of the second week of the American Idol semifinals, I was beginning to wonder if the songs of the ‘70s were being wasted on the Top 10 men.

Being a product of the ‘70s myself, the music from this decade has a special place in my heart.  And oh what music the ‘70s produced – from rock to Motown to disco and some funky combinations between. 

But where was this great music on the American Idol stage? 

Maybe the men were all distracted by revealing the “little known” fact about themselves.  Or maybe they were saving the best for last.  Either way, those that favored well tonight weren’t necessarily last week’s top performers.

David HernandezTop Picks

In fact, my top picks of the evening were only mediocre last week.

But David Hernandez was ready for the ‘70s tonight.  He came out and really rocked The Temptations.  Hernandez’ “Papa was a Rollin’ Stone” had a modern Motown feel to it that made me want to listen to it again.

Also impressive was self-professed word nerd David Cook.  Cook rocked his Les Paul to Free’s “All Right Now.”  And after listening to Robbie Carrico attempt at rock earlier, all I could think was now that’s what rock should sound like.  And while Simon thought Cook’s hobby was boring, I think a love of words is essential for a true songster.

Most Consistent

David Archuleta gets the award for most consistent, putting in a solid performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine” sacrificing the first verse for his favorite third verse.  All three judges loved his performance.  While I thought it was a nice performance, it wasn’t my top pick.

Most Improved

We learned that Chikeze’s name is Nigerian for “well created by God.”  But it’s his performance of Donny Hathaway’s “I Believe” that I’ll remember.  Unlike the Chikeze from last week, this one had charisma.  He personalized the song, literally.  He had fun with the song and it showed in his performance.

Also on the most improved list is Luke Menard.  I was sorely disappointed with my hometown favorite last week, but he redeemed himself tonight with “Killer Queen.”  Although still not an outstanding performance, Luke’s rendition of the Queen hit showed a lot more personality than his ‘60s choice.

The Carpenters’ “Superstar” brought Danny Noriega a little luck this week.  The cocky former punker admitted that his performance last week was lacking.  I thought his performance this week was an improvement, but still not spectacular.

Middle of the Road

The tennis playing Michael Johns, my top pick last week, led off the guys this evening, but his performance of “Go Your Own Way” was not my favorite.  I understand that he’s a Fleetwood Mac fan, but I don’t think the song really showcased his talent like “Bohemian Rhapsody” during Hollywood Week.

I really want to like Robbie Carrico, but so far he hasn’t had a performance that has won me over.  He looks the part of a rocker, but I have to agree with Randy that he just doesn’t have the sound.  Foreigner’s hit should have been a great song choice, but Robbie just didn’t have enough oomph to make “Hot Blooded” sound like a rock hit.

Singing a Swan Song?

During the interview, Jason Castro said he wasn’t good at the “not music stuff.”  But tonight he wasn’t so good at the music part either.  Last week the folksy, acoustic guitar sound worked well for Castro, but he couldn’t pull off the combo again with Andy Gibbs’ “I Want to be Your Everything.”  I agree with Paula (wow, I never thought I’d say that) that I would like to see him try his next performance (if he’s still around) without the guitar.  It’s a crutch now preventing him from stretching his talent.

I liked that Jason Yeager changed pace from last week with the Doobie Brothers.  A fun song after the ‘60s ballad was definitely needed.  But watching him perform “Long Train Running (Without Love),” I kept thinking of scenes from Boogie Nights.  But despite the changes I really wasn’t any more impressed with his voice.

Let’s hope the ladies have a better night on Wednesday

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Here’s a recap of the semifinals:

Top 24 Results Show

Top 12 Men Perform

Top 12 Women Perform

A Closer Look at Top 12 Men

A Closer Look at Top 12 Women


Footage of New X-Files Movie Leaked

February 25, 2008

The new X-Files movie, due in theaters on July 25, might not have a title yet, but a teaser of footage from the movie was shown to fans this past weekend at WonderCon in San Francisco.

Here’s a look at the footage.

Even after watching the teaser several times, I’m no closer to guessing what the plot will be of the X-Files sequel.  And apparently Chris Carter provided no revelations in his interview with SciFi Wire.

Mulder and ScullyInstead he reiterated that the film is a stand alone story that will not pick up where the last movie let off.  From the teaser, we know that Billy Connolly has joined the cast as a guy with really long hair and that Amanda Peet is an FBI agent who according to Carter has “gone missing.”

Carter does added that the movie will reflect the passage of time.  Apparently Fox Mulder (David Duchovany) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) have changed since when last saw them in 2002.

“The truth is, after all that time, Mulder and Scully were different people, and we were different people, so the ‘X-File’ we came up with five years ago is still the X-File in the movie, but their personal lives – the state of their relationship, all those things – have changed over time, and that was kind of interesting,” Producer/Writer Frank Spotnitz said.

Scully and MulderI’m glad to see that Carter and Spotnitz are acknowledging the passing of time. 

While I’ve been monitoring the progress of the movie, I haven’t really been excited about it yet.  Six years is a long time to have been without X-Files.

But after watching the teaser, I’m ready to break out the DVD of the last movie and rent some of the series.  The countdown to July has begun.


Tales of Robinson Crusoe Heading to NBC

February 25, 2008

Recently, NBC turned to the ‘80s in search of series for its fall lineup, banking on nostalgia for Knight Rider to be a hit.  Now, it’s turning to the classics in the pursuit of another hit series for its fall lineup.  Look for Robinson Crusoe to hit the Peacock network soon.

Robinson CrusoeAccording to TV Squad, NBC has already order 13 episodes of the new series based on the famous castaway.  The TV version of Daniel DeVoe’s novel could air as soon as the fall, but might be held in reserve until the mid-season.

It’ll be interesting to see how NBC is going to take a story first published in 1719 and modernize it.  In this case, I hope that take a page out the Brits’ book because I loved the way they recently revitalized the tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Jekyll.

As far as I can tell, the castaway’s story has been told several times as a movie, but never as a TV series in the U.S. (France had a Crusoe series).  Do you think that the classic tale could translate into an interesting series?  What other classic books would you like to see as a TV series?